Shippin' Out October 15-19: Tony Hawk, Katamari 360, Wii Table Tennis

Activision attempts to defend its skateboarding turf from encroaching competition; Prince of All Cosmos debuts on the Xbox 360, and Rockstar's ping-pong sim bounces onto Nintendo's console.

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Until last month's release of Electronic Arts' Skate, the Tony Hawk series hadn't faced any legitimate competition in the skateboarding genre for years. This week, the aptly named Tony Hawk's Proving Ground will give the series the opportunity to show it can still defend its turf from all comers by adding nail-the-grab and nail-the-manual mechanics to last year's introduction of the nail-the-trick mode. Proving Ground will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PlayStation 2, and Nintendo DS.

Rolling into stores alongside Tony Hawk will be Beautiful Katamari for the Xbox 360, the first installment of Namco Bandai's quirky hybrid game to arrive on the current generation of consoles. Players once again pick up the role of the Prince of All Cosmos and roll ever-expanding Katamari clumps around in an attempt to make the largest spherical accumulation of random junk possible.

Fans of Nintendo consoles are a bit spoiled for choice this week, given that the DS release slate consists of nine games, most notably the new Touch Generations game Flash Focus: Train Your Vision in Minutes a Day, as well as the self-explanatory anime-based Fullmetal Alchemist: Trading Card Game. Meanwhile, the Wii will welcome a new Victorious Boxers game, Rockstar Presents Table Tennis, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core, and Ultimate Duck Hunting.

On the downloadable front, the Wii Virtual Console sees its first TurboGrafx-16 CD release, Gate of Thunder (800 Wii points, or $8), along with the NES action game Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (500 Wii points, or $5), and the Super Nintendo sci-fi strategy game Metal Marines (800 Wii points, or $8). This week's Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays releases will be the futuristic sports game Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe as well as Q Entertainment's trippy shoot-'em-up game (without shooting), Every Extend Extra Extreme (both 800 Microsoft points, or $10).

This week's new releases are listed below (list taken from retailer information--actual dates may vary).

OCTOBER 15, 2007
Tony Hawk's Proving Ground (Xbox 360, PS2, PS3, Wii, DS)
Beautiful Katamari (Xbox 360)
The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles (Xbox 360 retail version)
Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis (Wii)
Flash Focus: Vision Training in Minutes a Day (DS)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Trading Card Game (DS)
Bee Movie Game (DS)
Seven Kingdoms: Conquest (PC)
Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (Wii Virtual Console)
Metal Marines (Wii Virtual Console)
Gate of Thunder (Wii Virtual Console)

OCTOBER 16, 2007
Fury (PC)
Heroes of Might and Magic V: Tribes of the East (PC)
Sega Rally Revo (PC)
Crash of the Titans (PSP)
Spider-Man 3 (PSP)
Dawn of Magic (PC)
Victorious Boxers: Revolution (Wii)
Avatar: The Last Airbender -- The Burning Earth (Xbox 360, PS2, Wii)
SWAT: Target Liberty (PSP)
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Game of the Year Edition (PS3)
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core (Wii)
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (Wii, DS)
Ultimate Duck Hunting (Wii)
Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals (PC)
Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey (PS2)
Disney Princess: Magical Jewels (DS)
Prism: Light the Way (DS)
Fish Tycoon (DS)
Hannah Montana: Music Jam (DS)
Power Rangers: Super Legends (DS)

OCTOBER 17, 2007
Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe (Xbox 360 Live Arcade)
Every Extend Extra Extreme (Xbox 360 Live Arcade)

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